One of the most dreaded fates in life is landing a long-term career that you did not want, or at least did not realize that you did not want. Perhaps you found yourself stuck behind a desk staring at spreadsheets when you suddenly realized that you are a creative mind that spent half your lifetime masquerading as an analytical mind, or maybe your relatives slowly coaxed you into the family business before you knew that it would become a nightmare gig for the ages.
Although each person has a different story, many people can tell horrible tales of the positions they have managed to get themselves into, against their usual better judgment. Perhaps you have recently found yourself in this tough spot, or fear such destiny in the future. In case you end up with a job you hate in a field you despise, you do have a few options concerning what to do next.
The phenomenon of stress occurs when anxieties outweigh your coping mechanisms. For many, an effective coping mechanism is to simply vent, thereby releasing all the pent-up negativity and letting it dissipate into the surrounding air. Since doing this alone can make you look crazy, the preferred alternative is to find a listening ear and let loose with your long-held angst and truly allow your feelings to flow out into your words. Regardless of whether the listener is willing or not, this may result in at least a temporary salve against the crippling torture of your hated position in the workplace.
Another coping mechanism to consider is to focus your agitations and frustrations into one particular object through violence, thus releasing your bottled-up emotions of anger and resentment. Ideally, you should choose an item that is cheap, easily replaced, and will not go noticed if you take it out into the parking lot and beat it into submissive little shards. Although a larger appliance like the office copy machine may be quite a tempting target, the consequences of destroying your workplace’s copier actually usually outweighs the pleasure of breaking it to begin with.
When all else fails, abandon ship; as the saying goes, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” Maybe there is a competitor that you know would value your skills yet reward you with higher pay and better benefits, or maybe you have been slaving away at a job you hate despite having the resources necessary to launch your true dream career. In either case, the fact remains that changing jobs can be very effective because it separates you from your original source of pain; that is, that job you hated before.
Whether you were forced into your office by pushy recruiters or coerced into your terrible tasks by an old “friend,” being stuck with a job you hate is a destination no one wants to have to deal with. When it comes to the choice of staying with the job you hate or leaving for greener pastures, good luck in your journey towards your own personal field of dreams.